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Home > Compliance > Tools > Determining Secure and Non-Secure Custody Status

Removal of Juveniles from Adult Jails and Lockups (Jail Removal)

Definition, Rules, and Regulations

A juvenile accused of, or charged with, committing an offense, or alleged to have committed an offense (not yet adjudicated).
The court has determined that is has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile has committed a delinquent act or status offense, or that the juvenile has pled guilty to committing a delinquent act or status offense.
Status Offender
A juvenile who has been charged with, or adjudicated for, conduct that would not be criminal if committed by an adult. Examples include: running away, underage drinking, underage possession of alcohol or tobacco, curfew violation (if the curfew ordinance applies only to juveniles) and truancy. Possession of a handgun by a juvenile is excluded from the status offense classification by state and federal laws. Juveniles who are illegal immigrants and have not committed a delinquent act are monitored as status offenders.
A juvenile who is subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, usually under abuse, dependency, or neglect statutes, or mental health issues, but have not committed a delinquent act. Alien juveniles who have not committed a delinquent act are also classified as non-offenders.
A juvenile who has been charged with, or adjudicated for, any conduct that would be criminal if committed by an adult. Examples include: D.U.I., open container in a vehicle, trespass, assault, burglary, etc.

Federal Rules and Regulations - Jail Removal
Maine Juvenile Code Title 15 Section 3203-A (7)(A)

The Jail Removal core requirement states that no juvenile shall be held securely in an adult jail or adult lockup. However, there are two exceptions to this rule:

  1. a 6-hour hold exception for alleged and certain adjudicated delinquent offenders and
  2. an exception for juveniles judicially transferred to adult criminal court, or filed directly to criminal court by the prosecuting district attorney. These exceptions are explained below. Any secure holding or detention of a juvenile in these facilities for purposes (i.e., punishment or time-out) other than those excepted below is a violation of the jail removal core requirement.

Exceptions to the Jail Removal Rule

  1. 6-Hour Hold Exception

    The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention regulations allow for a “6-hour grace period” that permits the secure detention of juveniles in adult jails and lockups under the following circumstances:

    • An accused delinquent may be detained for up to six hours for the purposes of identification, processing, and to arrange for release to parents or transfer to juvenile court, juvenile shelter or a juvenile detention center. During this time no sight and sound contact with adult inmates is allowed.

    • An accused or adjudicated delinquent may be detained for up to six hours before a court appearance and up to an additional six hours after a court appearance awaiting transport or release. During this time no sight and sound contact with adult inmates is allowed. These times cannot be combined. For example, a delinquent may not be held for four hours before court and eight hours after court for a total of 12 hours.

    These 6-hour grace periods start the moment the juvenile is placed in the secured setting and the “clock” cannot be stopped until the juvenile is permanently removed from the secured setting. For example, if a juvenile were placed in a secured setting at 1000 hours, then temporarily removed at 1100 hours for questioning and returned to the secured setting at 1300 hours, the juvenile would be considered in continuous secure custody from the beginning time of 1000 hours or a total of 3 hours. Therefore, in this case, the juvenile must be released no later than 1600 hours or a violation of the Jail Removal core requirement 6-hour grace period occurs.

    If a juvenile is arrested for a very serious offense such as murder and it is anticipated that activities such as lab work and investigation will take longer than 6 hours, the juvenile should be processed and transported to a juvenile detention facility pending completion of these activities or the direct filing of charges in criminal court.

  2. Exception for Transferred or Direct File Juveniles ­ Juveniles who have been judicially waived to, direct filed by the district attorney, or are otherwise under the jurisdiction of the adult criminal court do not fall under the purview of the JJDP Act. However, state law requires that if they are held securely they must be held separately from adults. [ Maine Juvenile Code Title 15 Section 3203-A 7 (A)(1)(2)]. The transfer or direct filing of charges must have been completed before they are excluded from the JJDP Act and core protections.